It’s no secret that we at CoS are quite fond, as most are, of the Dirty Projectors these days. We gave their latest effort a perfect score, cited them as a major highlight of the Bonnaroo Music Festival, and never cease to praise them for their continuing contributions to the music world. Last night’s performance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon was one such contribution. Needless to say, when I first read in this week’s Late Night Lobotomy that Dirty Projectors would perform on Jimmy Fallon last night, I grew as excited as one could be to watch a band on their television in the wee hours of the night. This feeling of eagerness, however, was immediately counteracted with the thought that the guys and gals would once again perform their Bitte Orca single, “Stillness is the Move”. Surely, such a song selection would have still been thrilling, but it’s been done before, and I would have liked to see something different.
Lucky for us, Dave Longstreth and his bandmates are anything but predictable. Instead of playing their most accessible tune, or even another Bitte Orca selection — of which there are more than a handful that would slay — the band performed an entirely new track, entitled “When the World Comes to an End” (the song was performed with Bjork last year, but still). What ensued was the kind of Late Night gold that you only read about in blogzines that discuss the caliber of late night musical performances. The song was anything but accessible, yet, it did not alienate in the slightest. As I stared in awe at the shear display of talent on my television screen, I couldn’t help but be excited for the band. The selection was a mindbending song which somehow factored in pop sensibilities and classic rock guitar even more than that found on most of the Projectors’ latest album. It was just crazy enough to amaze projectors fans and enticing enough to draw in people who may not be familiar with the awesomeness that this band dreams up.
The triple threat of female vocalists Amber Coffman, Angel Deradoorian, and Haley Dekle was more perplexing than ever. In sycopated alternating keyed-in hiccups, the girls threw my mind in a frenzy, harmonized notes bouncing off of each other faster than I could hear them. Then there was Mr. Longstreth singing and strumming over it, with some slick bass and fine percussions thrown on top. The song got crazy, stayed that way, broke down, and went for a few more cycles before Dave took a stab at shredding and ended the thing. It was actually the best late night performance I have seen in some time. Not since My Morning Jacket’s first Conan performance or Radiohead’s Kid A SNL extravaganza has a late night musical guest left such an impression on me.
Apparently, I wasn’t the only one either. As the song concluded, almost instantaneously, a flustered Jimmy Fallon chimed in with a “Yaaaz!” promptly questioning the fine looking ladies “How’d you did that?” ?uest love was also pretty enamored of them, inviting them to rehearse in the Roots dressing room and recording the whole thing. The Dirty Projectors are going places, and thanks to last night’s performance, a lot of people know it.
Lucky for us, YouTube has got the whole thing. Make sure to pick your jaw up from the floor when it’s over:
“When the World Comes to an End”
?uest’s Rehearsal Footage